‘Guns for kindergarten teachers!’

Published 12/10/08 in Shotgun News:

Nevada Democrats spent the autumn waging an unsavory “hit piece” campaign against two of my local state senators, Joe Heck and Bob Beers.

I doubt it’s the only state where Dems were back to their old tricks, but it’s one I was able to watch closely.

The full-color Democratic mailers and TV ads complained, among other things, that Sens. Heck and Beers want to make it easier for Nevada schoolteachers who volunteer to undergo special safety training after earning state concealed-weapon permits to carry firearms in school.

“They’re distorting both the bills and the votes,” Sen. Heck (an emergency room physician and Army Reserve colonel who’s served his country in Iraq) told me just before election day. “It’s already legal to carry guns in the schools (in Nevada) if you just have a note from the principal. Bob’s bill actually would have made it safer, because it would have required additional training, in addition to the CCW (state concealed weapons permit.) … It’s specifically stated in statute that right now a teacher or a college professor can carry with a letter of permission of the principal or the college president.”

Weirdly enough, Sen, Beers’ Democratic opponent, Allison Copening, who formerly worked in marketing for an outfit called PurchasePro, initially received an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association for answering the group’s questionnaire the same way Beers did — declaring she supports allowing trained and certified teachers to be armed on campus in the event they’re needed.

The NRA later felt they had to reduce Ms. Copening’s rating when she disavowed that earlier, sensible position — apparently after being blind-sided by the anti-gun fliers sent out by the state Democratic party in her name.

More to the point, Israeli children die of schoolhouse shootings at a far lower rate than American children, precisely because teachers and parent chaperones there are almost always armed and able to protect them.

On Jan. 25 of 2008, two Palestinian terrorists, recently released from an Israeli prison, cut a hole through a fence and infiltrated the Mekor Hayim High School Yeshiva, south of Jerusalem. “They entered a classroom where counselors were holding a meeting, and stabbed two of them,” the Jerusalem Post reports.

And how many students were massacred?

Pardon me. Were you not paying attention? This was in Israel.

“Two of the counselors were armed and managed to overpower and kill the terrorists, without giving them a chance to fire their pistol,” the Israeli newspaper reported.

They plugged ’em.

No reports yet of any of the students of the Mekor Hayim High School Yeshiva being shot by their teachers for failure to turn in their homework.

Here in America, “Hardly mentioned in the massive news coverage of the school-related shootings during the past year is how they ended,” John R. Lott Jr., a fellow at University of Chicago School of Law, wrote in the Los Angeles Times in June of 1998. “Two of the four shootings were stopped by a citizen displaying a gun. In the October 1997 shooting spree at a high school in Pearl, Miss., which left two students dead, an assistant principal retrieved a gun from his car and physically immobilized the shooter while waiting for the police.”

“More recently,” Professor Lott continued, “the school-related shooting in Edinboro, Pa., which left one teacher dead, was stopped only after a bystander pointed a shotgun at the shooter when he started to reload his gun. The police did not arrive for another 10 minutes. Who knows how many lives were saved by these prompt responses?”

Dr. Lott’s exhaustive studies of multiple-victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1995 reveal that “only one policy was found to reduce deaths and injuries from these shootings: allowing law-abiding citizens to carry concealed handguns. …”

Why don’t most folks know about this? Because the mass media purposely fail to mention the number of times that mass shooting are stopped by other, law-abiding Americans WITH GUNS. See http://www.lewrockwell.com/lott/lott14.html

“People have to realize no matter how fast the police response is, there’s going to be dead children,” Sen. Heck explains. “We’re trying to make it safer” for teachers to defend their young charges here in Nevada.

And for this, these upstanding state senators were ridiculed by the Nevada Democratic Party for “wanting to hand out firearms to kindergarten teachers!”

And here I thought Democratic standard-bearer Barack Obama always insisted he “respects the Second Amendment,” that he’s “not going to take away your guns.”

Funny how the Democrats’ hoplophobia always ends up showing around the edges.

# # #

One R. Lane wrote in, a few months back: “After reading his March diatribe, it is clear to me that Review-Journal columnist Vin Suprynowicz has not yet learned the obvious: the more handguns a country has in circulation, the more handgun deaths that country is going to get — not less.

“The United States has some 200 million handguns in circulation, and the highest handgun death rate (per 100,000 population) of any industrialized nation, with the possible exception of Brazil. Japan has the fewest number of handguns in circulation and the lowest handgun death rate per 100,000.

“If all these guns make us safer, we should be the safest nation on earth.”

Thus endeth R. Lane’s succinct submission.

Which really simplifies the question, doesn’t it? All we have to do is look to see if we can find any historic examples where a government has banned access to handguns for a sizeable portion of the population, and see what that did to handgun death rates among that population.

And you know what? It turns out R. Lane is correct!

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, the forward-thinking German “Weimar” republic effectively banned firearms possession by just about anyone but the military, the government police, and the ruling “Junker” class, who were allowed to keep their fancy hunting rifles.

The ban was particularly effective among the ethnic minorities, such as the Jews, who tended to be very law-abiding.

Was this effective in keeping the Jews from killing each other with handguns? Yes!

Later, when millions of Jews — essentially all the Jews in Germany and the German-occupied portions of Europe — were rounded up and sent to concentration camps to be exterminated, despite the fact that on some mornings the other prisoners were each given water and a piece of bread, while the Jewish prisoners were not allowed to either eat or drink — did these European Jews kill anyone with a handgun in order to get some food or water to keep themselves or their loved ones from starving. No! They couldn’t, because they HAD no handguns!

See how well that works?

Now, some troublemakers may point out they pretty much all died early and violent deaths anyway, so the MANNER in which they died — the fact that they died of starvation, or by being gassed in the extermination chambers, or being shot with rifle bullets — isn’t really as important as the fact that they might have defended themselves and avoided being loaded on the trains to the death camps if they’d HAD handguns.

But that’s hardly to the point. The government took away their handguns, and — just as R. Lane predicted we’d find — their rate of handgun deaths dropped to almost nothing.

Not quite to zero, mind you. At www.jpfo.org/filegen-n-z/survive.htm, Aaron Zelman, head of the civil rights organization Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, interviews Holocaust survivor Theodore Haas, who, as it turns out, managed to get himself shot with a handgun while at Dachau — more than once — despite the ban.

“Q.) You mentioned you were shot and stabbed several times. Were these experiments, punishment or torture?

“A.) They were punishment. I very often, in a fit of temper, acted while the brain was not in gear. The sorry results were two 9 mm bullets in my knees. Fortunately, one of the prisoners had a fingernail file and was able to dig the slugs out.” …

“Q.) Did the camp inmates ever bring up the topic, ‘If only we were armed before, we would not be here now’?

“A.) Many, many times. Before Adolf Hitler came to power, there was a black market in firearms, but the German people had been so conditioned to be law abiding, that they would never consider buying an unregistered gun. The German people really believed that only hoodlums own such guns. What fools we were.

“It truly frightens me to see how the government, media, and some police groups in America are pushing for the same mindset. In my opinion, the people of America had better start asking and demanding answers to some hard questions about firearms ownership, especially if the government does not trust me to own firearms, why or how can the people be expected to trust the government?

“There is no doubt in my mind that millions of lives could have been saved if the people were not ‘brainwashed’ about gun ownership and had been well armed. Hitler’s thugs and goons were not very brave when confronted by a gun. Gun haters always want to forget the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, which is a perfect example of how a ragtag, half starved group of Jews took up 10 handguns and made asses out of the Nazis.”

For other population groups who saw their rates of death by handgun bullets (but only handgun bullets) reduced after handgun bans, see http://ecclesia.org/truth/fame.html.

Are people “safer” in Japan, today? I don’t know. That’s not my goal. I prefer to live in “the safest, freest” country in the world. That certainly described a well-armed America from 1787 right up to the mid-20th Century. Whether it will still describe America tomorrow … remains to be seen.

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